Wednesday, April 21, 1999

Stay away from
Van Loi wreck,
officials say

Still 'potentially dangerous,'
the broken fishing vessel off Kauai
is being pilfered

By Star-Bulletin staff


KAPAA, Kauai -- The wreckage of the grounded fishing vessel Van Loi has drawn a lot of curious viewers on shore, but state officials warn that a close-up look may bring a trespassing citation.

There have been reports of people visiting and pilfering from the wreck, said Howard Gehring, acting administrator of the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation.

"I cannot stress enough that there are potentially dangerous conditions in this area and that the public should stay away until the removal process is completed and the 'all-clear' signal is given," Gehring said.

State enforcement officers will issue citations as long as the division curtails public access to beaches in the area, said Vaughan Tyndzik, the division's Kauai manager. Several agencies are cooperating in the removal and disposal of debris from the vessel.

The division is accepting bids from contractors to remove the Van Loi, which went aground April 10 and has since broken into four pieces stranded on a reef off Kapaa.

Gehring said the owners are responsible for removing the wreckage and will be billed for the work.

Anyone adversely affected by the spill of diesel fuel from the wreck may get information about filing claims from Ernie Worden, claims manager of the National Pollution Funds Center, at (800) 280-7118 or (703) 235-4793.

E-mail to City Desk

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